Red Arrows begin Games at Manston

Manston played a key role in the London 2012 Games when the Red Arrows took off from the Kent airport to take part in the Opening Ceremony.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team marked the beginning of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony pre-show by conducting a flypast in formation over the Olympic Stadium at 20:12 on Friday, July 27.

Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “We were thrilled to play our part in such a momentous event. The entire world will be watching London over the next few weeks and to know that we had a role in the beginning of it all is very exciting.”

During the day, the Red Arrows also conducted flypasts over London 2012 Live Sites including Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff before the Central London Live Sites in Victoria and Hyde Parks.

Twelve aircraft assembled at Manston throughout the day, enough to ensure that nine ‘smoking’ Red Arrows would be available for the Ceremony. After a briefing and a tea break, a display team of nine took off at 19:38 to make the flight to London for the 20:12 flypast.

Squadron Leader Jim Turner (Red 1) commented: “The Red Arrows are incredibly proud and excited to be part of the London 2012 Olympics. It is a huge honour for the whole Squadron to be involved in such a momentous occasion and to represent the United Kingdom at this ‘once in a lifetime’ event.”

Following the Flypast, Red 8 and 9 returned to Manston Airport while the rest of the squadron flew to the Red Arrows base at RAF Scampton.

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